A high school teacher at Montreal’s Cavelier-de LaSalle High School has been fired for showing the video “1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick” to his grade 10 history class. The grisly video, which is available online, is believed to show alleged killer Luka Rocco Magnotta butchering Concordia University student Jun Lin.
Students report that the 29-year old teacher, who has not been identified, started his class as usual with a discussion of current events, including Lin’s murder. He showed the video after most in the class urged him to do so, voting 22 to 3 in favour of watching it.
A traumatized student later reported the incident to the school’s vice-principal. The teacher was immediately suspended without pay.
“The unacceptable nature of the action by the teacher demanded an unequivocal response,” said school board president Diane Lamarche-Venne in announcing the firing.
Chloe Silvano, a student at Cavelier-De LaSalle High School, told the Canadian Press that she hoped the teacher would be able to keep his job. “I will be sad [if he’s dismissed] because he’s the best teacher in the school,” said Silvano. “Everyone finds he’s a good teacher and everyone loves him.”
But Brittany Henriques, another student, felt the school board took the right action. “He’s a great teacher, but what he did was wrong,” said Henriques. “So firing him is the ideal thing to do.”
Meanwhile, a vigil was held for Lin on Thursday night in Montreal. Over 100 people, many from the city’s Chinese community, lit lanterns and stood in silent memory of the slain student.
– Emily Olesen